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Cool and Useful Clutter-Free Christmas Gifts for Teens
I enjoy finding gifts for my kids that they will use and enjoy. It’s a real bummer when a child unwraps a Christmas gift and they seem underwhelmed. While they may be polite and just not say anything, it would be way more fun to see that they are excited with their Christmas gift!
Being able to give them a gift that they will enjoy is awesome, being able to give them a gift that they will use well is even more awesome! Giving gifts that sits and collects dust, and eventually they forget they have it, is useless.
Some people who will flat out ask others what they want for Christmas, and I can see how this would make gift buying easier. It may make it more complicated, but I love giving something the person may not have expected. (Definitely risk in that!)
With our older children, their needs are changing. Many desire to have more control over what they are purchasing, like clothes, music, and personal items.
Sometimes I find something that I know is spot on for one of my kids, but I have had more times that they open a gift and I can see the puzzled look on their face. More work for me returning it, and it wasn’t much fun for them.
What is fun is watching them go into a store and choosing what their heart desires. Having the freedom to choose a piece of clothing that suits their personality will help to ensure they will get lots of use out of their choice.
I really don’t want my kids to lose sight of the reason for the season, no matter what age they are.
With all the commercials and social media, I can see why it can be a challenge for us parents and our children.
We have to make the conscience effort to recognize the marketing trends.
At this age is isn’t about toys anymore . . . or at least not play toys. Electronics seem to be a popular item of request at Christmas time. We have given our kids in the past one expensive gift, and then a few smaller items.
We are also very clear with our kids that even if something is on your Christmas wish list, doesn’t mean that it will be under the tree. Each year, we make gift giving more and more simple.
Here are a few ideas for fun gifts that are still simple and fun, both consumable!
Teens begin to spend more time away from the family once they are in high school.
Whether they hang out with friends at lunch or have activities on the weekend, food gift cards can be a real treat for them!
Amazon makes it easy to purchase gift cards online, at a variety of amounts.
You can also receive them as an e-card, which make it easy to fold up and place in a card for your kiddos Christmas stocking, or add it to a gift basket that you put together with other tangible items.
FAVORITE ONLINE AND RETAIL STORES
Have you had the experience of purchasing what you think are cute clothes, and your child or grandchild has a look on her face that says a different story? A gift card is the perfect solution.
Picking out their own purchase is part of the fun of the gift!
Useable gift are great options too. Items that get regular use of something are worth the investment.
When I purchase new clothing for myself or my kids, we usually get rid of other pieces from their drawer or closet.
What even better when I get rid of multiple pieces and only add one new thing.
Kids can be pretty busy between homework, sports and extra activities.
Whether it’s checking out a new movie, going bowling, or hanging out at Starbucks, kids like having down time and some fun!
Giving them a gift card to have some good, clean, organized fun may be appreciated by your teenager.
You can also plan entertainment as a family. Around the holidays more family movies seem to come to the theatre. You can make it a day out with lunch and a movie . . . . maybe even surprise them!
This may not sound very exciting at first read for a Christmas gift, but what teenager wouldn’t want free gas!!!! Kids may also appreciate being able to have the extra cash to get their oil changed or visit the car wash.
If you are already paying for your teens gas, either giving them cash or by filling up the tank for them, giving them a gift card for gas will give them the experience of seeing how much it is and how fast it gets used!
If your teen is’t working yet, this card can be refilled, and it gives parents the opportunity to give a certain amount each week or month. This will make it easier for you both!
FUN AND EXPERIENCES
Even though your child is not into toys or playing at the park, doesn’t mean that they may not be interested in going on adventures.
They can be experiences you create, like a scavenger hunt, or you can gift them experiences. Maybe you can give them tickets for two if they want to go with a friend, or make surprise plans as a family!
Ideas for teen adventure:
- Putt-putt golf
- Laser tag
- Golf Range
- Rafting with family or friend
- Skiing for a day
- Bike ride to planned destination
- A day around your city exploring
- Swimming at cool pool
- Batting cage
Last year I planned a staycation when my oldest was home from college for the holidays. We stayed two nights downtown.
It was lots of fun going to see a musical, eating good food, and exploring around town. Even though I have lived here all my life, staying downtown gave a different perspective.
We had a great time. It was easy to plan and the commute was perfect!
GIFT BASKETS IDEAS
My daughter LOVES to browse Ulta and the makeup isle at any store that has one.
As much as she likes to browse, I know she also loves to receive gift baskets with a colorful variety of lip gloss and eye shadow.
You can also create a combination of actual products and a gift card.
Products to include in gift basket may include:
- Eye shadow
- Chapstick and lip gloss
- Nail polish and supplies
HAIR ACCESSORIES AND HAIR TOOLS
It’s amazing all the fun we can have with hair and styling it!
I have had shorter hair for much of my life.
My teen daughter on the other hand loves having long hair using hair bands to keep it styled and in place.
Some of her favorite videos to watch are people styling their hair like braiding and curling. I am very impressed with what she can do . . . . there is a reason why I have shorter hair!
There is such a larger variety of hair ties and accessories now compared to when I was younger.
SNACKS FOR SCHOOL AND STUDYING
Do your kids like to snack?
Image how excited they will be to have their own unique stash of snacks to take to school or have while studying.
The good news is there is a large variety of snack gift baskets available if you like picking out pre-made baskets.
If you like making gift baskets, you can tailor the treats perfectly to your kiddo. I find this to be fun.
It’s like a game for me to find the perfect treat!
ACCESSORIES FOR SPORTS OR HOBBY
You could just buy what they need for sports and hobbies any time of the year. But you can also make it special in a gift basket or sports bag.
When specific sport seasons comes around, we have to buy the new soccer socks or running shoes. However, you can also create cool gift baskets with the little extras that you may not normally purchase.
A sport gear bag is very valuable. I have seen some kids struggle with jamming their items into a regular backpack. How about a larger bag with their name embroidered on it? Or gift them their own tags or zipper pulls, that are personalized, and can be used on multiple bags.
Adding extra items inside the bag to go with the sport or hobby can be the extra surprise! These useable gifts are perfect because we know they will get lots of use!
Surprising kids with tickets is something my husband and I really enjoy doing. There is something fun about finding an event that we know our kids would really enjoy!
There are all kinds of events that we can take our kids to as a gift, or purchase tickets and they can decide if they want to take a friend or a parent.
It’s an extra treat when they have the choice of who they want to join them at the event. I like having the option that one of us can go, because if for some reason they can’t find a friend, they are happy a parent can go.
Plus, it’s a ride and probably snacks too! A bonus!!
- Groupon activities
- Sporting events (Hockey, basketball, soccer, baseball)
- Annual city events
- Guided tours
- Guided scavenger hunts
Supplies for school, like electronics, may be both a special gift them and very useful for this age group.
College kids and young adults are usually thrilled to receive consumable items.
This is an age where many trying to balance work and school, and may not have much, if any, disposable income.
My oldest is in college and he gets good use out of gift cards. I send him care packages that sometimes includes a gift card. He can get groceries and personal items, or whatever he needs.
I feel better knowing he has what he needs, when he needs it. He is not working while going to school right now, very heavy load, so it helps.
To go the movies or out to eat can be a real treat! My son also appreciates Starbucks cards. He can load it to his Starbucks app, he gets free birthday drinks and can earn free treats!
At this age they probably aren’t asking for items they would rather buy themselves, like clothes. (Unless you like to shop together!)
- Grocery store
- Gas card
- Haircut store